Frat Suing 'Rogue' Group Accused in Hazing Death
Zeta Beta Tau says SUNY Albany men had no authorization to use ZBT name
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2015 8:40 AM CST
ZBT is miffed that "rogue" students accused in hazing death used its name.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The seven men accused of the 2014 hazing of a SUNY Albany student that caused his death are already in trouble with the school and the police. Now they've got a new problem on their hands: a lawsuit set to be filed by the fraternity whose name they apparently appropriated. Zeta Beta Tau's national office says the "rogue" group of SUNY Albany students charged in the death of 19-year-old Trevor Duffy used the frat's name without authorization and isn't linked to the actual recognized chapter on campus, NBC News reports. "Zeta Beta Tau is retaining counsel for the purposes of filing suit against these individuals who falsely represented themselves, deceiving the public and damaging the otherwise exceptional reputation of our Fraternity," a fraternity statement reads, per News10.

Duffy died after allegedly being made to consume nearly half a gallon of vodka in a case that made headlines; his BAC was seven times the legal limit, notes NBC. The national fraternity says its intellectual property—including its name, the ZBT initials, and other materials—are protected under copyright rules, WRGB reports. That means anyone who falsely claims to be affiliated with the frat is fair game for legal action, a move the attorney for one of the accused says he's baffled by. "It's certainly novel, and I'm not sure why they'd take that step," the lawyer for Joseph Angilletta, one of two men arrested just last week in the case, tells the station. "Clearly one aspect here is they seem to want to distance themselves from this tragic event." (Five Baruch College frat members may face up to 20 years behind bars for allegedly taking part in the "glass ceiling.")